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Kennedy wins two medals at Winter Nationals, including gold in relay

Avon's Madison Kennedy won a national title in the 200-yard freestyle at the Winter Nationals Thursday in Knoxville. From left, Kelsi Hall, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Kennedy and Kate Meili. (Twitter photo courtesy of SwimMAC)

Avon’s Madison Kennedy won a national title in the 200-yard freestyle at the Winter Nationals Thursday in Knoxville. From left, Kelsi Hall, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Kennedy and Kate Meili. (Photo courtesy of SwimMAC)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It was a great day in the pool for Avon native Madison Kennedy at the AT&T Winter National Swimming Championships as she won two medals Thursday. 

She won a bronze medal in the 50-yard freestyle and captured a gold medal in the 200-yard freestyle relay with her teammates from SwimMAC in North Carolina. Her SwimMAC team finished third in the 400-yard individual medley but was disqualified for a false start. 

Seeded 23rd in the 50 freestyle, Kennedy swam a full second better than her seed time to finish fifth in qualifying with a time of 22.08 seconds. In the finals, she finished third to earn a bronze with a time of 21.69 seconds behind U.S. Olympians Natalie Coughlin (21.51) and Amanda Weir (21.62). 

In qualifying for the 50 free, Kennedy was 0.29 seconds behind Coughlin. She cut that deficit to 0.14 of a second in the championship race. 

Kennedy swam the leadoff leg on the national championship 200 freestyle team in 21.88 seconds. SwimMAC never trailed and set a new meet record of 1:27.19 seconds, beating the University of Calfornia-Berkley by 1.25 seconds. Kelsi Hall, Kate Meili and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace swam with Kennedy to earn gold medals. 

Kennedy swam freestyle on SwimMAC’s 400 IM team with Hall, Vanderpool-Wallace and Kathleen Baker. The meet continues through Saturday. Kennedy, 25, is also entered to compete in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Strong swim Friday in backstroke
On Friday, Kennedy had a strong swim in the 100-yard backstroke. She finished 21st in qualifying with a time of 54.74 to earn a spot in the C final. In the finals, she blew away her competitors, winning the C race in 53.33, which beat all the swimmers in the B final. Kennedy had the ninth fastest time in the race.

She also swam freestyle on SwimMAC’s 200 medley relay team but the team was disqualified for a false start on Friday morning in qualifying.

 

 

 

 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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